A Cape Coral couple facing seven lawsuits in relation to crimes against their own children has had their cases delayed by court order. The lawsuits against the couple, Daniel and Jenise Spurgeon, involve their adoption or fostering of seven children. However, due to the Alabama Supreme Court, there has been a stay in the proceedings of the Spurgeons’ cases.
The reason for the delay is a motion by Nancy Buckner to dismiss the cases. Buckner is a defendant in all seven suits. She is the Department of Human Resources Commissioner in Alabama, and is accused of failing to act on the children’s allegations of abuse against the Spurgeons.
Buckner has insisted that she should have immunity in the case, since she was acting in an official capacity. A trial judge has denied Buckner’s claims to immunity.
The stay of the proceedings was requested by Buckner in an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court. The stay was granted on August 6, delaying all seven lawsuits for the time being. According to the suits, the Spurgeons fostered or adopted as many as fifty children over the years as they lived in Florence, Alabama. The suits allege that the couple routinely neglected or abused the children.
The charges against the couple are heinous. Court records indicate charges including rape, human trafficking, sexual torture, child abuse, and sexual abuse. Police records indicate the seven suits were filed by six female children and one male child, all of whom had been adopted or fostered by the Spurgeons.
The case against the Spurgeons has actually already been carrying along long before Buckner asked for a stay of proceedings. Daniel Spurgeon pleaded guilty to the charges against him in 2019, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the crimes. He has no opportunity for parole.
Jenise Spurgeon, meanwhile, is currently living in Alabama and is free on bond. She is awaiting trial. Her case has been delayed numerous times this year, due in part to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The couple was initially arrested in 2016 after two of their foster children were found in a local fast food restaurant under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They described the abuse they’d received from the Spurgeons to police, which set their current legal cases in motion.
The suits allege that the Alabama Department of Human Resources had been made aware of the abuse but had failed to act to remove the children from the Spurgeons’ home.